THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
Opt. Memorial of St. Nicholas
Liturgical texts here
IS it possible that, this Advent, we are truly preparing for the coming of Jesus? If we listen to what the popes have been saying (The Popes, and the Dawning Era), to what Our Lady is saying (Is Jesus Really Coming?), to what the Church Fathers are saying (The Middle Coming), and put all the pieces together (Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!), the answer is an emphatic “yes!” Not that Jesus is coming this December 25th. And nor is He coming in a way that evangelical movie flicks have been suggesting, preceded by a rapture, etc. It is a coming of Christ within the hearts of the faithful to bring to fulfillment all the promises of Scripture that we are reading this month in the book of Isaiah.
For the mysteries of Jesus are not yet completely perfected and fulfilled. They are complete, indeed, in the person of Jesus, but not in us, who are his members, nor in the Church, which is his mystical body. —St. John Eudes, treatise “On the Kingdom of Jesus”, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol IV, p 559
And it is God’s intention to indeed bring them to fulfillment. As St. Paul wrote, the Father will continue to pour out His Spirit and gifts…
…until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ. (Eph 4:13)
And this, in order that the People of God may…
…be holy and without blemish before him… that he might present to himself the Church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Eph 1:4, 5:27)
This so-called “middle coming” for which Our Lady “the woman clothed in the sun” has been appearing and preparing us for, is the last stage in human history when God—not Satan—gets the last word. cf. The Vindication of Wisdom When, as Isaiah prophesied, “the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord” cf. Isa 11:7 and…
…this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt 24:14)
St. Louis de Montfort once prayed:
Your divine commandments are broken, your Gospel is thrown aside, torrents of iniquity flood the whole earth carrying away even your servants… Will everything come to the same end as Sodom and Gomorrah? Will you never break your silence? Will you tolerate all this for ever? Is it not true that your will must be done on earth as it is in heaven? Is it not true that your kingdom must come? Did you not give to some souls, dear to you, a vision of the future renewal of the Church? —Prayer for Missionaries, n. 5; www.ewtn.com
Souls such as St. Bernard of Clairvaux:
We know that there are three comings of the Lord… In the final coming, all flesh will see the salvation of our God, and they will look on him whom they pierced. The intermediate coming is a hidden one; in it only the elect see the Lord within their own selves, and they are saved… In his first coming Our Lord came in our flesh and in our weakness; in this middle coming he comes in spirit and power; in the final coming he will be seen in glory and majesty…—St. Bernard, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol I, p. 169
And St. Cyril of Jerusalem:
There is a birth from God before the ages, and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time. There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece, and a coming before all eyes, still in the future [when] he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. —The Catechetical Instruction by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Lecture 15; translation from The Splendor of Creation, Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, p. 59
It is a union of the same nature as that of the union of heaven, except that in paradise the veil which conceals the Divinity disappears… —Jesus to Venerable Conchita, Ronda Chervin, Walk With Me Jesus; cited in The Crown and Completion of All Sanctities, Daniel O’Connor, p. 12
…and Venerable Maria Concepción:
The time has come to exalt the Holy Spirit in the world… I desire that this last epoch be consecrated in a very special way to this Holy Spirit…It is his turn, it is his epoch, it is the triumph of love in My Church, in the whole universe. —Jesus to Venerable María Concepción Cabrera de Armida; Fr. Marie-Michel Philipon, Conchita: A Mother’s Spiritual Diary, p. 195-196
And in case we are tempted to dismiss these prophetic words saying, “Oh, that’s just private revelation,” we can be confident that this has been taught by the popes as well.
The task of humble Pope John is to “prepare for the Lord a perfect people,” which is exactly like the task of the Baptist, who is his patron and from whom he takes his name. And it is not possible to imagine a higher and more precious perfection than that of the triumph of Christian peace, which is peace at heart, peace in the social order, in life, in wellbeing, in mutual respect, and in the brotherhood of nations. —ST. POPE JOHN XXIII, True Christian Peace, December 23rd, 1959; www.catholicculture.org
When it does arrive, it will turn out to be a solemn hour, one big with consequences not only for the restoration of the Kingdom of Christ, but for the pacification of… the world. —POPE PIUS XI, Ubi Arcani dei Consilioi “On the Peace of Christ in his Kingdom”, December 23, 1922
Dear young people, it is up to you to be the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ! —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World, XVII World Youth Day, n. 3; (cf. Is 21:11-12)
It is with these prophetic promises, brothers and sisters, that Our Lady wishes to comfort you again.
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end… (Today’s first reading)
But if this coming of the Risen Sun is an interior manifestation of God’s life, power, and holiness,cf. The Coming New and Divine Holiness then it is obvious that we must prepare to receive Him. Just as many missed the first coming of Christ, so too, many will miss this “middle coming”.
A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! (Today’s first reading)
Isaiah says we need to “make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” That is, to remove those obstacles of sin that prevent His grace. We need to “fill in the valleys”, that is, those areas in our hearts where we are lacking in charity, especially to those who have hurt us. And we need to make “every mountain low”, that is, those hills of pride and self-dependence that leave no room for the presence of God.
Can we pray, therefore, for the coming of Jesus? Can we sincerely say: “Marantha! Come Lord Jesus!”? Yes, we can. And not only for that: we must! We pray for anticipations of his world-changing presence. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, p. 292, Ignatius Press
But this coming of Christ, brothers and sisters, is not the same as that coming of Jesus where “two or three are gathered,” or His coming in Baptism and the Eucharist, or His interior presence through prayer. Rather, this is a coming that will subdue the nations, purify the world, and establish the Kingdom of His Divine Will “on earth as it is in Heaven” as in a “new Pentecost.”
Ah, my daughter, the creature always races more into evil. How many machinations of ruin they are preparing! They will go so far as to exhaust themselves in evil. But while they occupy themselves in going their way, I will occupy Myself with the completion and fulfillment of My Fiat Voluntas Tua (“Thy will be done”) so that My Will reign on earth—but in an all-new manner. Ah yes, I want to confound man in Love! Therefore, be attentive. I want you with Me to prepare this Era of Celestial and Divine Love… —Jesus to Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, Manuscripts, Feb 8th, 1921; excerpt from The Splendor of Creation, Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, p.80
Thus, so also must the valleys, hills and mountains of Satan’s kingdom be brought to nothing. And so, I’ll continue our reflection on that “beast” that is determined to undermine Christ’s kingdom so that our hearts are ready and our minds prepared for the “final confrontation” of this era…
But even this night in the world shows clear signs of a dawn that will come, of a new day receiving the kiss of a new and more resplendent sun… A new resurrection of Jesus is necessary: a true resurrection, which admits no more lordship of death… In individuals, Christ must destroy the night of mortal sin with the dawn of grace regained. In families, the night of indifference and coolness must give way to the sun of love. In factories, in cities, in nations, in lands of misunderstanding and hatred the night must grow bright as the day… and strife will cease and there will be peace. Come Lord Jesus… Send thy angel, O Lord and make our night grow as bright as the day… How many souls are longing for the hastening of the day in which Thou alone wilt live and reign in their hearts! Come, Lord Jesus. There are numerous signs that Thy return is not far off. —POPE PIUX XII, Urbi et Orbi address, March 2nd, 1957; vatican.va
…for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy. (Today’s Psalm)
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